What does Google Wallet mean for donations? Hopefully, not much.

May 25, 2011

Earlier today at an event in NYC, Google announced their new mobile transaction platform, Google Wallet. And while the impact will likely be felt almost immediately in the retail industry, for political fundraising, what will be the impact of this latest innovation? Hopefully, not much.

As Forbes describes:

“The service, called Google Wallet, will store credit cards in electronic form on Android phones. Users will be able to pay for purchases by wirelessly “tapping” their handsets against special readers in participating stores. Users can also receive targeted offers, such as coupons for products they have bought in the past or have indicated they like, directly on their phones while in stores. Loyalty rewards will be automatically tallied within Wallet and receipts will be electronic, as well, popping up on the phone instead of printing out on paper.”

There’s no doubt that mobile commerce is an emerging trend that will shape the mechanics of transactions, but from our perspective, it should not shape the outcomes.

Imagine a big political fundraiser. The room is packed and the energy is high. The candidate hits the high notes and everyone cheers. The room is electric. At this point, the campaign’s chairman takes to the podium and invites the attendees to contribute to the campaign.

And that’s the way it should work. Whether that chairman asks that audience to write a check or swipe their Nexus S 4G from Sprint, the objective is to create a moment in time when the right people in the right place interact with the right message and are compelled to act. Will technology make this process easier? We certainly hope so.

Should the technology be more important than the objective? Hopefully not.

Technology comes and goes, faster and faster every day. It’s our job to keep up with it, and to make sure that whatever the latest trend or technology may be, it is used in a way that has strategic purpose and achieves an objective.

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